* Posts by Paul Lee 1

20 posts • joined 27 Aug 2009

TWELFTH-CENTURY TARDIS turns up in Ethiopia

Paul Lee 1

The 90/100/106 episode rumour seems to be bunk. It started off in the summer as "90 missing episodes found" and even some big name fans were taken in by it, but the BBC (and those in a position to know and/or find out) always rubbished it. The story seems to be this: in the summer, someone in Africa (probably an old TV company, but a private collector has also been mentioned) sent a large package of old TV material to a company in the UK. The shows were to be remastered from old, obsolete formats into something that could be played with modern technology, something that the company specialised it. Somehow this news got picked up by the Dr.Who fraternity who made 2+2=106. So, almost certainly its a case of "move along, nothing to see here."

At any rate, if Ethiopia has got anything, they never bought the broadcast rights to the Troughton era, so all we'd have to recover at best would be a handful of Hartnells, but still better than nothing.

BUT just suppose the rumour is true, could the BBC have kept it quite for all these months? Ostensibly yes. The two episodes found in 2011 were "found" in the summer but this was a well kept secret until "Missing Believed Wiped" at the British Film Institute in December. Even the programme said they would be showing "1960s BBC Science Fiction" with no mention as to what it was. No one had a clue until much closer to the event. And when "Tomb of the Cybermen" was found in 1991, the BBC put out a cover story that it was simply four episodes of an already existing story. The secret was apparently kept hidden for at least a few weeks; all other missing episode "finds" have been quite quickly reported.

But there is always the caveat that the Radio Times seems sure that something has been found, even though they can't deny the story from the BBC itself! I don't know if you remember in late 1993 when it was reported widely that over a dozen episodes from Scandinavian countries had been found and were being rush released onto video? It turned out to be a hoax, but the interesting thing here is that the rumour was never confirmed or denied by the BBC (much like the current situation) and that it started within the corporation.

If it is an episode find, I think it'll be a couple - and not the massive hoard reported breathlessly in the press.

If you want to know more about the archival situation with regard to Dr.Who (and the cornucopia of existing formats and clips), have a look at http://www.paullee.com/drwho

HP: AUTONOMY 'misrepresented' its value by $5 BILLION, calls in SEC

Paul Lee 1

whoops typo hic. Did have a four month temp job proof reading texts at Cambridge University Press in 2011. Other than that nothing.

Paul Lee 1

@Frank the Developer

I have removed Autonomy from my resume/CV. For all the good it did. I haven't had a job since then, and with me passing my 40th year, the chance of me being hired in any role, not just in IT, is minimal. The people I say "fuck you" are to the people I have approached for help since then. My wife works for a bank and earns slightly above the minimal national wage, and because of this, we aren't eligible for a host of benefits, like working tax credits. We used to get a £3 reduction in our council tax (out of about £130 - an insult), our housing benefit has been cut back, I get no JSA because I left my last job rather than be made redundant. It got so bad that I contacted my local MP, Andrew Lansley and he was full of plattitudes and engineered a two hour long phone conversation with the local job centre (result: "We're sorry but we can't help") and then Lansley turned his back on us when I asked him if he knew of any avenues or opportunities (having applied for hundreds of jobs, and hardly ever got a reply back, I was desperate to try any new venture that might reap dividends.) If it wasn't for my pensioner parents, who help us with the balance of our rent each month (and I feel f**king guilty for them helping us) we'd be living on the street. And no-one in officialdom gives a shit. We are just "statistics."

Anyway, back to the discussion.

Paul Lee 1

Autonmy woes

If you look at the Autonomy reviews on Glassdoor.com, you'll see that many people have the same opinion of this overbloated, fascist company.

Paul Lee 1

I used to work for Autonomy. I have no sympathy for them.

My little article is at:


after Autonomy's lawyers bullied me and anyone who supported me to take my article off line. I eventually lost my net access after Autonomy complained to BT, my ISP; they never issued an explanation or apology but still took money from my account. It took years and a letter to the BT chairman before I got a refund.

The article was originally subtitled "Stress Is More Fun" but seems to have got lost; if you read the article, you'll find out what it has this moniker.

What does the Titanic's sinking tell us about modern science?

Paul Lee 1

Titanic was NOT "constructed as an Auxiliary Cruiser/Troop Transport that happened to be a Ocean going Passenger Liner during peacetime". You're thinking about Cunard's Mauretania and Lusitania, which were partially built from Admiralty funds. The Titanic and her sister, the Olympic, were built to counter the threat that these two new Cunard ships would have on the White Star Line's (the owner of the Titanic's) hold on the North Atlantic passenger trade.

Vote now for the WORST movie EVER

Paul Lee 1


Because it takes gross liberties with the historical record and the director has the audacity to tell us "accurate" - http://www.paullee.com/titanic/jc1997goofs.html

SUNKEN LINER Titanic iceberg riddle answer FOUND ON MOON

Paul Lee 1

Re: the rudder did it

People often complain that the rudder was too small, but a modern day analysis shows that the rudder was only 5% smaller than a comparable modern day ship would have. The Titanic did have sea trials, and her manoeuvering was tested during these trials. The Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic, continued sailing successfully until broken up in the 1930s. The younger sister, the Britannic, was requisitioned as a hospital ship in World War 1 and sunk by a mine in 1915.

Paul Lee 1

Re: Common misconceptions

Let me address some of your points.

The Titanic did NOT use cheap steel and rivets. They were the best that could be obtained at the time. Analysis of some of the rivets showed that some of the steel is comparable to that used today, whereas others show a high degree of slag that could make them succeptible to damage. Quality control was in its infancy in those days, there was no taking of metallurgic samples for testing; why would Harland and Wolff's , the Builders, skimp on materials?

I don't know much about the sea trials, but I was under the impression that the majority of the crew, including the engineering staff, continued to Southampton. Many of the crew had come from the Olympic, the Titanic's sister, so little "extra" training would be needed.

The only evidence that the boats were cut back was because the Titanic complied with the law, and even exceeded it by 4 extra boats. The Welin davits could handle four boats apiece, and these were included in anticipation of a change in the law that would have compelled ships to carry a full complement of boats.

There is no evidence that the ship was termed "unsinkable" for revenue reasons. It was termed unsinkable because those who built and sailed in it believed it to be so, based on the design.

On the voyage that the Titanic sank, the ship was 2/3rds full, and this was only after passengers had been transferred from other crippled ships who could not sail because of a coal strike. There is a little proof to suggest that passengers were so confident in the first hour that the ship would not sink that they didn't enter the lifeboats. But the fault also lies in the hands of the crews preparing the boats. Only a couple knew that the ship was doomed, one of which was Captain Smith - and he only confided in one of his bridge crew. As far as the crew were concerned, the boat lowerings were seen as an inconvenient drill, as none of them knew the ship was doomed. This included the crew who were stationed in the bow and had seen water pouring into the hull.

The bulkheads were not cut short for cost cutting reasons. She complied with the law. Admittedly, she did not gain Lloyd's accreditation, but the Board of Trade had an office

at Harland Wolff. They saw the new ships everyday, and hundreds of tests were carried

out even before the ship left for her trials. Her design was subject to scrutiny by the British

Government - and passed. Ships of that area were designed to float with any two compartments flooded. The Titanic could do this and more - the first three out of four compartments could be flooded and the ship wouldn't have sunk. This was by design. Following the disaster, the shipbuilders were asked for more analysis, and they found that the design was better than they

had thought. The ship could float with all four of her first compartments open to the sea.

The Titanic had 6, with damage extending into a 7th. No ship could withstand this.

The watertight bulkheads went up as far as they were legally required to do so. It is only in the middle section that the bulkheads went up to E deck, but still above the waterline. Those

compartments at the front and back of the ship went up even higher, well after the waterline.

These bulkheads were termed "collision bulkheads" - bulkheads that were designed to crumple and flood, absorbing energy in the event of a collision. Most ships were designed to stay afloat with the first or last compartment flooded (this is the "collision bulkhead"). As a matter of extra safety, the first two compartments on the Titanic were termed as collision bulkheads.

I think 6 ice warning were received by the Titanic, one of which reported ice so far away from the Titanic's track that it could be ignored. The final, vital warning, was never sent to the bridge. The penultimate message was sent to the bridge about 4 hours before the collision, but the wireless operator could not remember who he gave it to. Of the remaining four messages, one was definitely seen by the surviving officers, and two of the three were acknolwedged by the captain. The sending station had sent a "M.S.G" with their messages - an RSVP for commanders. Captain Smith sent a reply back and a cheery message for the ice warnings, but none of the surviving officers said they saw them (very convenient!)

The binoculars that had been used from Belfast to Southampton were indeed missing - but they were marked as being the property of the 2nd Officer, Blair, who left the ship due to a reshuffle of officers in Southampton. It is speculated that these binoculars were used by the "new" 2nd Officer, Lightoller. And why shouldn't he use them? Granted, the lookouts said that they had binoculars in other White Star Line ships, but when other captains of White Star - and other shipping lines - were asked to give evidence, they all dismissed binoculars as being of any great use. The problem is that they cut down on the vision too much, and are really only to be used to identify what a lookout has seen. The look-outs duty was to report to the bridge anything they had seen AND ONLY then use binoculars. I find the suggestion that extra binoculars were not carried to be laughable. All of the senior officers - four of them - were issued with binoculars, and were seen using them!

There is some proof that the Titanic was aiming to get into New York on Tuesday evening rather than Wednesday morning, as you say.

Apart from the last point, which came out in newspaper interviews and in legal matters against the White Star Line in later years (and of course, the line denied it), all of the above can be found in the inquiry transcripts http://www.titanicinquiry.org

Paul Lee 1

While we're on the subject

I am surprised that The Register hasn't picked up on this story: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Did-the-Titanic-Sink-Because-of-an-Optical-Illusion.html - don't get me started on this! I wrote a book on the thorny issue of the Californian, and it seems that any mention of that ship brings about heaps of opprobrium and abuse. That article is wrong in one respect; super refraction was suspected as being a cause way back in 1961 according to British Board of Trade papers that I dug up in my research.

Paul Lee 1

Re: It was the speed of the Titanic what sank her.

All the passengers and crew were above the waterline, with ample opportunities to escape. No-one perished in the initial impact.

You raise interesting points. We don't know how long the damaged would be (and it wasn't a gash by the way, just a sprung seam of rivets); the speed hampered how quickly it took for the ship to get out of the way. Estimates vary for the distance from ship to iceberg; some estimate about 2000 feet, some think about half this. When your ship is moving at 26 miles per hour, you don't have a lot of time to think!

Paul Lee 1

Re: Nonsense?

The icebergs drifted south on the Labrador current from Greenland, past Newfoundland and into the North Atlantic.

Paul Lee 1

Re: Common misconceptions

How is that so? They spent a fortune on the ship "no expenses spared" and so on, and the fittings on board were truly luxurious. If you're talking about the lifeboats, then they were only obeying the letter of the law. It was up to the shipping companies to provide a full complement of boats and no-one, not even the companies abroad wanted to do this!

Paul Lee 1

Re: Common misconceptions

I remember that, it provided date on circulatory patterns of ocean currents I think? On a sadder note, theres the huge island of junk that has accumulated in the pacific, brought together by ocean currents...I despair what we have done to our planet sometimes!

Paul Lee 1

Common misconceptions

A few points to note: the Titanic was not trying for the Blue Riband. In 1909, the Mauretania, run by rival steamship Cunard, managed a record run at an average speed of 26 knots. The Titanic was never designed to be that fast, and on her only voyage "only" managed 22.5 knots. I forget the average, but it winds up being about 21.5 knots. With this difference in speed, there was no way the Titanic could beat the Mauretania. Instead, as the old fable goes, the designers opted for comfort and space (and size) rather than speed. Another fable goes that the Titanic was trying to beat the record for the fastest maiden voyage crossing. This was set the previous year by the Titanic's sister, the Olympic, and the Titanic was set to beat this. There is some evidence that the chairman of the Line, who was on board, was pressurising the captain to get to New York early, ahead of the Olympic's time, and there is more compelling evidence that the Titanic was speeding up. If the Titanic had maintained 22.5 knots, she would have easily beaten her sister. Even fact, she may even have surpassed it if an iceberg had not got in the way, for a full speed test was scheduled for the Monday that never came to the Titanic.

Regarding the latest theory, it sounds interesting, I've heard everything from an unusually warm winter and El Nino blamed for the large number of icebergs that year. I did a trawl through a couple of old shipping newspapers a few years back and the number is astonishing - if you're that way inclined, have a look at http://www.paullee.com/titanic/ice.html - it needs Java to run the Applet. One interesting little point is that it was claimed that a Titanic lifeboat that had been abandoned at the wreck site managed to drift all the way to Ireland, then south to Spain, and then back round to the Bahamas where it was eventually found (its part of a great circulatory system called "The North Atlantic Gyre") - some years later a lifejacket from the Lusitania, sunk off Ireland in 1915 did a similar journey and wound up off the north eastern coast of the US.

Remastered 4K, 3D Titanic steams towards cinemas

Paul Lee 1


Cameron should spend the money digitally correcting the huge errors he has made in the film: http://www.paullee.com/titanic/jc1997goofs.html

'Draw Mohammed' page removed from Facebook

Paul Lee 1

Not quite true

The administrators of the Facebook page have announced that the page was removed after one of the admin's passwords was hacked and various unsavoury messages were bandied around. The page is now up again. Frankly, I am sick of the constant pandering to Islamic beliefs http://www.paullee.com/bandb/index.php#Islam

Windows 7 misses Microsoft's summit of success

Paul Lee 1

Hardly a stellar uptake

I collect stats on agent visits to my website (and yes I know they can be spoofed!) and while Windows 7 uptake has been modest it has not been 'spectacular' in the way that windows XP was and vista wasn't. My graphs are here: (they are log-linear by the way) http://www.paullee.com/computers/

Keep space station past 2015, pleads ESA chief

Paul Lee 1
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A throw-away culture?

I remember reading a year or so ago that the Americans can the ISS retired and (I think) deorbited by about 2012, just a few years after it was due to be completed. I can't understand this, why the need to have something new every so often? I know that space is an environment that is highly damaging, with atomic oxygen, high radiation levels etc. causing deterioration to surfaces and solar panels far faster than they would on earth, but doesn't it seem that America is acting rashly and a being a little bit of a bully here? They wanted Mir deorbited (presumably so that it wouldn't "interfere" with their grand space station plans?) and now they are due to retire the space shuttle, leaving them possibly without any form of man rated launch vehicle for 5 years or more. Incidentally, I have written a little bit on the retirement of STS; its at http://www.paullee.com/bandb/ - just search for the word "jihad"

Poor porn protection hurt Firefox 3 uptake

Paul Lee 1

Firefox 3 is still doing well



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